National Geographic Spotlights Walsingham

August 25, 2019

Bermuda’s Walsingham Nature Reserve is better known as Tom Moore’s Jungle after the poet who found inspiration there.

Recently the Bermuda wilderness was included alongside the real woodland settings which such famous fictional forests as Winnie The Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods and Harry Potter’s Forbidden Forest were based on in a National Geographic report.

The online edition of the natural history, conservation and science magazine spotlighted Walsingham in a travel piece titled “Visit the real-life forests that inspired these famous books.”

“Nicknamed ‘Tom Moore’s Jungle’ for the 19th-century Irish poet who wrote beneath the calabashes, Walsingham is an untouched 12-acre woodland where cedars and maidenhair fern flourish untended,” said the magazine. “Bermuda’s shores, as described in poet William Strachey’s first-hand account of a 1609 shipwreck, might have also inspired William Shakespeare to pen The Tempest.”

It was “by the shade of the calabash tree” which once grew at the Walsingham property in Hamilton Parish that Tom Moore wrote verses about the charms of his Bermudian beloved, Hester Tucker [called Nea in his poems].

The poet was a minor functionary in the British Admiralty when dispatched to Bermuda in 1804, and he departed the island after being here for less than a year. Moore went on to become to Ireland what Robbie Burns is to Scotland: an unofficial national bard. The poems Moore wrote on his “little fairy isle” were among his earliest published work.

Locals and visitors can participate in regular eco-tours of the Walsingham Nature Reserve.

You can read the full National Geographic article here.

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Category: All, Environment